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Star Wars: The Old Republic
15 New from
I'll start by saying that before SWTOR, the last MMOs I played were PlanetSide and a bit of EVE Online. In other words, I had very little MMO experience and thus hesitated buying SWTOR, given the MMO gameplay mechanics that I know aren't at all like what I'm used to (e.g. BF3, Skyrim, etc). Nevertheless, I'm a massive Star Wars fan and had a gift voucher from Christmas so I went for it (the price was high then but the new price is AMAZING).
I rolled a Jedi Knight on a PvE server and was instantly hooked, within minutes. I wasn't a big fan of the art style (as I prefer photorealistic graphics) but hey, it was Star Wars and it was a hell of a lot of fun. As soon as I got into it though, none of my gripes mattered - I was simply having tons of fun levelling, going through the story, experimenting, etc.
Three months have now passed and I still play several hours per day (when I can find the time). My Jedi Knight is now a Sentinel at level 50. I also have a Gunslinger and a Sith Marauder. That's the beauty of it - you can just roll different class characters from both sides (Republic and Empire) and play through a completely different storyline (side quests are the same, though, but differ between Republic and Empire).
PvP is a lot of fun as well but after playing for some months, it is clear that the game needs more content. No sweat though - that is an MMO, receiving new content again and again. I can't wait for patch 1.2 as it will add tons of stuff to the game, including the much anticipated Legacy system.
The recent patches have also fixed many of the bugs that plagued the game, including performance problems. Sure, SWTOR could use some extra performance from patches but for now it's at least stable. My system can certainly munch through this game without a hitch but initially SWTOR taxed it more than BF3, which is weird and clearly showed the engine needed further optimisations via patches. All in good time, though.
Overall, I thoroughly recommend SWTOR to anyone into MMOs and anyone into Star Wars. Trust me, you don't have to be into MMOs to love this game as long as you are really into Star Wars. If I wasn't into Star Wars, I wouldn't enjoy it as much (since I'm not a big MMO player anyway). With the new price tag though, including the free first month, this is a must!!
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
8 New from
Well, what can I say, they've done it again with this one. Though not the true sequel to Assassin's Creed 2, it follows it very well from the ending of Assassin's Creed 2 to continue Ezio's story. They have done an amazing job at improving the graphics and gameplay beyond what Assassin's Creed 2 offered, which I was more than pleased with.
The game looks and sounds amazing but the biggest point is the gameplay. They've not only taken it from Assassin's Creed 2 (which was far superior to the first game in gameplay) but they've also improved upon it. There are some new elements to the gameplay such as your recruitment of assassins that you pay and send on missions to gain experience (that in turn allows you to upgrade their armour and weapons). These assassins can also be called upon to drop in during combat and assist you.
The game is based in Rome and fast-travel is done through underground tunnels throughout the city. You can renovate shops, banks, etc, and this not only provides outlets for you to buy from but it also increases the financial status of Rome. Every 20 minutes you get revenue from your renovations as well. Gameplay-wise, you can also now ride your horse anywhere and call upon it by whistling. Being able to ride your horse anywhere is great as you can jump straight off to assassinate targets.
Besides these new elements, some tried and true elements are back in that you can get side missions from factions (thief, mercenary and courtesans guilds) and solve puzzles for "The Truth" clips. Another thing they've stuck to is an increasing interesting and engaging storyline - can never fault this in the Assassin's Creed series.
If you want to see if you'll enjoy it, try Assassin's Creed 2. If you enjoy or enjoyed that, get this one now! :)
Assassin's Creed 2
10 New from
I had never played the original Assassin's Creed, despite my friends' recommendations. Assassin's Creed 2 was recently recommended to me as well, mostly for its violent nature. For 19.99, there was nothing to lose, so I bought it.
The game is nothing short of amazing. The graphics are really good and the sound is very good too (good surround with a good sound card and headset / speakers). The gameplay is just endless fun - nothing else can describe it. The ability to free roam and pretty much do whatever you like throughout different cities (as the game unfolds), makes it have infinite replay value.
The storyline itself is very intriguing from the very beginning and just goes deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole, unfolding a whole mess of fictional (maybe there's some truth to it!?) history of the Knights Templar, the rival assassins, the world leaders, the concept of Eden, religion, etc. Nothing short of inspiring..
Aside from the free roaming and the main quest, there are a lot of RPG elements to the game, with character progression in the way of abilities, weapons, armour, renovating your uncle's city to make profit for yourself, etc. There's also side quests you can do for money, like assassinations and courier missions. A very nice touch is that there are mini-games when you discover hidden symbols around cities. Solving them unlocks tiny pieces of footage which follow each other but are unlocked randomly. These pieces of footage are titled "The Truth". Having not got all of them yet, I'm very intrigued to see what it all means!There are also scrolls you recover that Leonardo Davinci decodes. These also unravel an interesting piece of history.
All in all, very intriguing, very interesting, and continually surprising. Best of all is the seamless combination of storyline with interaction and free roaming. There's no doubt in my mind that this is one of the very best game I have ever played. Highly recommended!!
Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Complete Season 1 (4 Discs)
27 New from
I have always been a big fan of Star Wars so I bought the "The Clone Wars" movie and this series' season 1. The series follows the movie very well and as a whole concept, really fits together into the entire Star Wars universe and atmosphere. This is certainly a great addition to an already great franchise. A greatly recommended buy - you won't regret it!The box set comes with a nice original artwork book with lots of artist comments as well as the episode listing on the back. Though I'm not a keen artwork collector, it's a nice touch.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008)
16 New from
Despite some of the reviews here, I really liked this. I'm a big Star Wars fan and I find this movie does a great job at sticking to the Star Wars universe, its humour, its setting, its concept and its style. Some bits seem a bit childish but I guess this is aimed at a very wide audience - the real Star Wars movies also have these bits so I guess it's expected.
I really enjoyed watching this and am looking forward to starting to watch the series. It's definitely well worth watching and for the extremely low price, why wonder?Just buy it and decide for yourself - it's really very good.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2
11 New from
I must say, I was very, very pleasantly surprised by Battlefield Bad Company 2 on playing the Beta version. Granted it isn't extremely stable and there are some issues to be ironed out but what Beta version is perfect!?These will no doubt be ironed out for the retail version.
The gameplay is tremendously fun. There is a lot more emphasis on squad-based infantry combat than on vehicular warfare, though the full suite of vehicles is available (just not in extreme abundance). This is much, much preferred over the classic Battlefield "grab any vehicle and go on your own" style as this really feels like you're in combat. The combat in itself is extremely intense and feels like you're really there. I can't stress enough how fun it is to be taking cover behind a wall with your squad knowing that if spotted, the enemy can blow the wall with an explosive and blow you and your squad along with it.
The dynamics of the game are really well put together, with the classes being well balanced, the ranks and unlocks being rewarding and the gameplay being extremely replayable. I don't know how many times I've played the same map on the Beta version but I can't get enough of the game.
I'm hoping to finish other games such as Mass Effect 2 before this one is released because once it is, I will play nothing else. Do yourself a favour and order Battlefield Bad Company 2 now!!
Mass Effect 2
12 New from
Mass Effect 2 is extremely well thought-out and extremely well designed. It really shows the amount of effort the developers have put to develop an outstanding game. From the feel to the cinematics, everything is very well put together to give you an outstanding experience.
The character importing from the first Mass Effect works very well too, with the characteristics kept intact. I thought I'd keep the equipment too though but that wasn't the case. You are given the opportunity to fine-tune some characteristics though, as well as give yourself a complete make-over. You are given bonuses for importing though, such as a lot of credits for purchasing items.
Without spoilers, the story follows on very well from the first Mass Effect, with constant unexpected twists and developments that will keep you hooked. There are minor changes from the first Mass Effect that I didn't enjoy as much, such as the use of the galaxy map has changed a bit (seems a bit childish now). However, no small things can even stop me from giving it less than five stars.
Buy Mass Effect 2 now, especially if you played the first Mass Effect - you will not regret it.
Rule by Secrecy
17 New from
A few months ago I was exposed to the "Zeitgeist" documentaries and have become very concerned with and interested in the real powers that be, so to speak. Someone I know recommended this book to me in a conversation about society and its flaws. I promptly bought it from Play.com (for a great price, I might add!) and have already read about a third of the book.
Though I haven't finished it as of yet, the third I have read totally grasped my interest from the first page - you just won't be able to put it down!The author clearly demonstrates years of personal and co-operated research, with an extensive list of references at the back of the book (furthering credibility).
In a world where everything we see, hear and thus know tends to come from the media, one must question whether or not we are constantly being fooled into thinking something very far from the truth. This sentiment was recently fortified amongst people who genuinely question what goes on, after 9/11. It's unfortunate this book was published in 2001 and thus doesn't speak of 9/11 (it must have not happened yet, at the time of publishing) - I'm sure the author would have had a lot to say!As a physicist, I am trained to over-analyse everything and the sheer fact that nothing we were told about 9/11 added up made me question a lot of things we take for granted every day. This book will highlight to you, in great detail, just how complexly organised and involved the true powers of the world are.
I cannot recommend this book enough. If you are simply interested in finding out about the secret societies of the current day world (and in history), their origins, their members, their power, etc, or you are an activist, this book is a must-read. For the length, quality of content, interesting nature and the superbly low price, why not!?
Thrustmaster T Flight Stick X-PC Joystick
3 New from
I had always read all over the Internet that Thrustmaster joysticks are of top quality. I bought this product for its amazing value for money. £18 for a Thrustmaster joystick with 12 buttons, programmable features, stick twist rudder control, thrust control and a very comfortable handling..Truly an amazing deal. I must recommend this product.
If you're more hardcore then the Saitek X52 or Thrustmaster HOTAS are probably more of your area, as well as rudder pedals. I for one did not want to spend far too much on a joystick as there are few games I'd use it with (primarily got this for Tom Clancy's HAWX and to again try my hand at Lock On after many years), especially since I'm only into combat flight games, as opposed to Flight Simulator.
The design of it is extremely comfortable, handles very smoothly, was extremely easy to install (no drivers needed, on Windows Vista Ultimate x64 - just plug it into the USB port and voila, it detects the actual device) and looks awesome. What more can you ask for, for £18!?
Ministry Of Sound: The Sound Of Bassline (3CD)
Various - CD
2 New from
Bought this compilation at Ibiza airport following a club night at "Es Paradis" which featured "Bassline vs Garage". This sounds just like the music there and is fantastic. Definitely a recommended buy!